Jun 18, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
It wasn’t quite overcoming five runner-up finishes to finally win the U.S. Open on his 43rd birthday, but Justin Rose’s story was pretty good by itself.
Rose on Sunday became the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open since 1970 and he did it on Father’s Day. Rose was primarily coached in the game by his father, who passed away from leukemia in 2002. When he tapped in for par on the 72nd hole, Rose pointed to the sky and began tearing up.
Not long after — once Phil Mickelson secured his sixth career second-place finish at the Open — Rose’s celebration began.
As he prepared last week at Lake Nona for the 113th U.S. Open, Justin Rose did more than beat balls, work out and review his game plan for Merion. He watched a YouTube download of “The Empire Strikes Back.” The scene that sport psychologist Gio Valiante wanted Rose to absorb was Yoda’s famous discussion with Luke Skywalker. “I wanted him to know he was ready,” Valiante said Sunday from his home in Orlando. “That he was finally mature enough to come into his own.”
Won the U.S. Open, he did.
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